The Rundown: Quintana and Caratini Carry Cubs to Huge Win, Russell’s Wizardry, Tracking Hurricane Flo
Huge win last night.
It was the Jose Quintana/Victor Caratini show as the Cubs tripped up the Brewers 3-0 in a tense game that never felt like it was over until the the W flag flew over the Friendly Confines. To me, the key to the game was Caratini’s 10-pitch at-bat in the 4th inning.
The young backstop fouling off seven offerings clearly rattled Brewers starter Jhoulys Chacin, who allowed the first run of the game to score on an errant pick-off attempt to second base. His throw sailed into center field, allowing Ben Zobrist to score, and then Caratini delivered an RBI single to put the Cubs up 2-0.
Caratini later doubled home Tommy La Stella for an insurance run. He also did a nice job defensively keeping Quintana on his game. The up-and-down starting pitcher was dominant once again against the Brewers, going 6 2/3 with seven strikeouts while allowing just five baserunners.
Quintana, Caratini lead #Cubs in shutout of #Brewers.
Recap: https://t.co/x63r1EW2S0 #EverybodyIn pic.twitter.com/qVAGHnGFQS
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) September 12, 2018
The rubber game is set for tonight, with Kyle Hendricks facing off against Chase Anderson.
Cubs News & Notes
The Cubs recorded their league-leading 16th shutout of the season last night, six of which have come against Milwaukee. It was the first time in Brewers history that the same team has blanked them six times in one season.
The Cubs have recorded six shutouts vs. a single opponent for the first time since 1928.
The two teams entered last night’s game with a combined .201 batting average against one another in the seven previous games played at Wrigley Field.
Quintana has now gone five straight starts without allowing a home run. He also lowered his lifetime ERA against the Brewers from 1.78 to 1.60 while improving to 6-2 against them.
The Cubs’ beleaguered bullpen held Milwaukee hitless over 2 1/3 innings with three strikeouts. Pedro Strop closed it out for his 13th save of the season.
Jon Lester said he expects to make his next start. Lester exited Monday’s game against the Brewers with lower back tightness and, while he admitted his back was still bothering him Tuesday, he sounded optimistic about making his next start on schedule. “I’m fine. I’ll pitch when they tell me to pitch,” Lester said
Last night, Addison Russell set the bar for defensive replacements, and all MLB shortstops for that matter. This shot came off the bat of Ryan Braun.
How About That
Trevor Story of the Rockies is the first shortstop in MLB history to hit 30 home runs with 40 doubles while stealing 25 bases.
The Red Sox are the first MLB team to secure a playoff spot and are tied for the sixth-fastest team to clinch a postseason berth since 1996.
The Indians’ magic number is down to three.
The Braves’ magic number also sits at three.
The Dodgers are 0-6 on the year against the Reds after dropping last night’s game 3-1. Los Angeles remains a game and a half behind the Rockies for first place in the NL West.
Jacob deGrom didn’t get a win last night — of course he didn’t — but the Mets starter and Cy Young candidate did break a big-league record by allowing three runs or fewer for the 26th consecutive time. DeGrom finished his night having held the Marlins to two runs over seven innings. He struck out nine and walked two. His ERA on the season is now 1.71 which has resulted in an 8-9 record.
Athletics starter Sean Manaea needs shoulder surgery and is expected to be out through the 2019 season.
Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas improved to 15-4 with a 2.99 ERA as the Red Birds beat the Pirates 11-5.
Tuesday’s Three Stars
- Shane Bieber – The Indians’ rookie starter derailed a Rays team that had won a franchise-record 12 straight home games with a shutout performance that included 11 strikeouts across 6 2/3 innings.
- Jose Quintana – See above
- Juan Soto – The Nats’ rookie outfielder was 5-for-8 with two home runs and four RBI as Washington swept the Phillies.
For those keep track of Hurricane Florence, it looks like Old Flo’ will hit the US coast far enough south to allow the Cubs and Nationals to play tomorrow. The heavy rain likely won’t hit the DC area until late Thursday night or early Friday morning. There is less than a 10 percent chance she will move north and strike near Norfolk.
The commissioner’s office has already denied a request by the Cubs to postpone the game or move it to Wrigley Field.
At 5am CT, the storm was centered 575 miles (925 km) southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, moving at 17 mph (28 kph). It was a potentially catastrophic Category 4 storm but was expected to keep drawing energy from the warm water and intensify to near Category 5, which means winds of 157 mph (253 kph) or higher. Baseball aside, you have to really feel for the residents of the Carolinas and Virginia who have been asked to evacuate their homes. This is a monstrous storm.
(photo credit NOAA.gov)
They Said It
- “You’ve always got to keep the switch on. When you get through a rain delay, you have to think that you’re going to play. When you’re scheduled to play in Washington on Thursday and there’s a potential hurricane, you’ve still got to think that you’re going to play. The trap there is to think that you don’t want to play or we’re not going to play, and all of a sudden you are. And you have to turn the switch on. That normally creates a bad result. It’s a tough stretch. It’s one of the worst you’re going to go through in baseball. But you’ve got to keep the switch on.” – Joe Maddon
- “I don’t worry about the [Eloy Jimenez-Dylan Cease] trade. If I do good or bad, I try to be focused on my job. I know how huge that trade was. For sure, I want to do well.” – Jose Quintana
- “We don’t want anyone to suffer in that hurricane, but if it’s raining in D.C. on Thursday, and you get that day off, it will be nice for our guys to get a well-earned off day.” – Theo Epstein
Wednesday Walk Up Song
Welcome to the Jungle by Guns ‘N’ Roses. Another big game tonight.